Despite Arizona having 34 points on the score board this unit didn't have an awful day by any means. They really only allowed 1 real sustained drive that Arizona finished for with TD. They held them to two field goals on their sustained drives in the first half. Really at max you can put 17 of the 34 points on the defense(TD instead of a FG after blocked punt(4) + 2FGS(6) + Game winning drive TD(7)). Really only 13 of those points were truly earned by the AZ offense though. Iowa did give up a couple of big pass plays again this week and it's got to be an area that concerns defensive coaches for Iowa.
This unit largely snuffed out the run giving up around 3 YPC to the running backs. Arizona also threw a number of quick flat passes that were basically just runs as well. They didn't have much success in that department either as Iowa mostly limited those plays to short gains. Much of credit goes to the defensive line for stopping the run, but the back 7 filled well when given the chance.
The big area of concern for this unit was how they were consistently unable to handle the high/low zone combo routes. Arizona's offensive coordinator called play after play that exploited this concept and Arizona piled up a substantial number of yards and first downs by attacking with route combos that opened up the post stop and zone sit routes over the middle. Part of this is a scheme issue as it's hard to defend small and fast receivers on crossing routes with LB's all night. The other part is the fact that Nick Foles had the arm strength and accuracy to consistently put the ball into those pockets in the zone. Early in the game he missed an open receiver on one of these routes on a 3rd down, but after that he was nearly perfect hitting those routes. Iowa has some work to do here as they'll see a couple more teams in the Big 10 who can attack this same area.
Iowa was forced to blitz more in this game as Arizona was prepared for the stunts Iowa runs up front. Arizona was very creative in their pass protection schemes and doubled Clayborn early and often. They used their TE's and backs effectively to keep Iowa from getting the type of pressure they like to with their front 4. They ran a lot +2 and +3 protection schemes in this game, especially early on. Arizona also mainly stayed with shotgun snaps and quick throws which made it tough for the DL to apply consistent pressure. That said the blitzes that were called were well timed and executed pretty well, especially given how little Iowa uses these packages. They again ran a few zone blitzes where DE's dropped into coverage.
+1 Great job getting away on the stunt and forcing the poor throw. S4
+1 Nice work to get free here and make the sack after Tarpinian flushes Foles. S8
+1 Huge play again there as he gets the TFL against the draw. S8
+1 Excellent job reading the screen here as he gets on the RB as he recognizes it. S6
+1 Beats 1 on 1 pass protection here as he uses the punch to create space and then swims to get away and gets a big sack. Nice technique here S6
+2 Huge play as he makes the pick on the slant. Read the QB’s eyes very well here. Steps back and snatches the ball out of the air and jogs into the end zone. Can't teach these kinds of instincts. S10
+1 Nice job forcing Foles out of the pocket quickly and not letting him set his feet. S6
+1 Good job getting into the backfield and disrupting the play. S8
+1 Beats his block and makes the stop for no gain on the run play. Nicely done. S9
+1 Great job there as he racks up another TFL against the run while beating his man 1 on 1. S9
+1 Ballard beats a double team and puts a shot on the QB again. Great job to force a quick throw. S9
+1 Great job penetrating and eating up the ball carrier. S11
-1 Personal foul. Looked like he was taking a swipe at the head of the QB. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was swiping for the ball. Either way you can’t commit a penalty like this. S9
+1 Great job attacking the flat route here. S2
+1 Nielson Doesn’t beat his block here but shoves his guy back into the WR on the screen and it blows up the play. Creative play by Nielson. S3
-1 Poor angle on the reverse and he lets the WR get outside of him and pick up yards on what should have been a loss. S7
+1 Great penetration here as he shuts down a 3rd down run with a TFL S7
+1 Huge strip on Grigsby inside the 20 here. S2
-1 Tarpinian caught with his eyes in the backfield and doesn’t adjust to the route very well as the TE is wide open for an easy first down. S4
+1 Nice work on the A gap twist blitz here as he flushes Foles immediately and it ends up being a sack. Looked like the broken hand kept him from actually making the sack himself. S8
+1 Nice work on the blitz off the edge as he runs through the back and makes the sack. S9
+1 Hunter makes a big fumble recovery here. Good awareness here as he pounces on the ball. S2
-1 Misses the tackle while he’s getting blocked. Needs to read this quicker, beat the block and then find the ball carrier.
+1 Nice job playing the ball here on the fade in the end zone. Very good coverage. S1
-1 Hyde is torched 1 on 1 there here by Criner on the post. Very poor technique as he turns outside into man turn and ends up having to back over the top to get back to the post. S2
-0 Hyde Gets called for PI here. This was not PI and was a bad call.
-1 He does a great job of getting himself in position to make a play on the ball as he defends the slant route on the goal line, but fails to make a play on the ball. This ball was even thrown on the WR's back shoulder and should have been an easy break up by Sash. It ends up completed for a TD and Sash really needs to have better awareness in coverage here. S1
+1 Good work attacking up on the end around. Good hard fill. S5
+1 Sash makes a good read here as he flies up on the flat pass. Doesn’t wrap up as well as you’d like to see but he grabs onto an ankle and holds on. S10-1 Sash Gets caught peaking into the backfield here and he lets a man get behind him in his Cover 2 drop and he makes a huge catch. S11
-1 Sash He drops back into the slant zone but doesn’t read the route at all and fails to read the QB’s eyes here and make the play on the ball. S11
-1 Greenwood Poor job tackling in space here on the draw play. S4
+1 Prater Great job reading the route and getting under it and almost getting the pick. S5